Police raid on Brierfield home uncovers cannabis plants

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A Brierfield mum allowed her home to be used for growing cannabis worth £2,400 on the streets after she was threatened, a court heard.

Jacqueline Pratt had also had her electricity meter by-passed and power to the tune of more than £2,200 had been used to cultivate the plants. The “sophisticated” growing system, in a foil-lined tent, had cost money to set up.

Pennine magistrates were told how the six plants were found when police raided the rented house on Chapel Street, Brierfield.

The unemployed defendant (34), of Chapel Street, admitted permitting premises to be used for the production of cannabis and abstracting electricity. She was sentenced to a 12 month community order with the Lancashire Women’s Specified Activity Requirement and was ordered to pay £85 costs, a £60 victim surcharge and a £5 fine. She was “effectively of good character.”

Sentencing her, District Judge Andrew Jebb said he accepted she was threatened in order to allow the property to be used for producing the drugs. He told her: “I have no doubt that if you hadn’t been threatened it wouldn’t have happened.”

The judge continued: “When was the last time the person responsible grew it in their own house? Never. They don’t, for obvious reasons.”

Mark Stephen Wilkinson (36), of the same address, will be sentenced on March 11th. He has admitted producing cannabis and possessing tomazepam and amphetamine.

Mr Andrew Robinson (prosecuting) said the potential yield of the plants was 240 grams of cannabis, with a street value of £2,400. Electricity worth £2,257 was used.

Mr Geoff Ireland (defending Pratt) said she had significant personal difficulties. She had lost children to adoption because of the chaotic lifestyle she lived. He told the hearing she needed to get her life on track. The solicitor added: “It’s apparent she’s not at the top of the tree.”